Sunday, February 23, 2014

Photos from the February 15 Snowshoe Hike

On Saturday, February 15, WMSC and the Mahoosuc Land Trust co-sponsored a snowshoe hike to Flint Farm, Bob O'Brien and Michaela Casey's farm in Albany.  We had perfect conditions, and plenty of snow! We send a special thank you to Jane Chandler for sharing her photos.

Rick Churchill, trail guide, and Bob O'Brien, our host.  photo, J. Chandler
Starting up the trail.  photo, K. DeVore
Plenty of snow!  photo, K. DeVore
Jean & Brendan Bass  photo, J. Chandler
Steve Smith and Lida Iles  photo, J. Chandler
Jim Chandler and Tim Roberts   photo, K. DeVore

Tramping a peace sign in the snow.  photo, J. Chandler
Peace sign complete!  photo, J.Chandler

Conversation and refreshments at Bob and Michaela's after the hike.  photo, J. Chandler

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

A Snippet From Al Cressy

It may make a difference – Last spring, before school ended, I volunteered to work for a couple of hours with a Telstar middle school teacher on an enrichment project with her class on the subject of tree rings. I enjoyed my brief time with the students, not knowing what impact, if any, I would have with these students that I had never met before. Several weeks ago when I was on my way to attend a high school assembly, one of the middle school students that I had worked with the previous year saw me in the hallway. Upon seeing me, the student said “I remember you from last June!” We exchanged greetings and then went our separate ways. After that brief exchange, I felt that perhaps I had made a difference, even though it may have been small, in this student’s academic life. This is the reason I believe it is important for adults in the SAD44 community to have encounters with the Telstar students through the Telstar High School Community Partnership Program.

For more information on the Telstar Community Partnership and how you might participate, contact Nancy Davis, 381-1110 or

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Monday, February 17, 2014

To Your Health: “Fat Facts About Your Blood Chemistry and What You Can Do About It”

by Barbara Dion
Daniel vanBuren, MD
How much do you really know about cholesterol and the many ways it affects your body? How can you effectively lower your levels to achieve a healthier lifestyle? Dr. Daniel vanBuren answered these and many other questions at the latest To Your Health offering.

Dr. vanBuren, Director of Cardiovascular Medicine at the New England Heart Institute, presented a highly informative program, explaining how our bodies produce cholesterol and its detrimental effect on our health. He explained the differences between HDL and LDL - good versus bad. High LDL levels raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other related heart problems.

There are many ways we can lower our risk factors for heart disease due to high cholesterol. Medication is often prescribed by doctors, as well as dietary changes. Avoiding foods high in saturated fat such as butter, fried foods, and cheese and replacing them with healthier choices goes a long way towards improving our levels. Exercise, smoking cessation, stress reduction, and weight control are also highly recommended.

Dr. vanBuren discussed the many different types of statin drugs that are prescribed by physicians to reduce your risk factors. He also touched on the various supplements that are often touted as helpful in reducing cholesterol and whether they are indeed effective.

All in all, the attendees left with a wealth of knowledge and maybe a little better understanding of how their bodies work. 

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Telstar Community Partnership Requests Volunteer for Short-Term Project

by Nancy Davis
Did you see the article in Friday's Sun Journal about the Telstar Community Partnership? The project is moving ahead nicely, and we're looking forward to new volunteers. Would you like to help? If so, you may contact me, and I can answer your questions and get you some paperwork, including a full description of the program, a list of possible volunteer "spots," and an application form.

There is a very specific project this coming week that Telstar teacher Steve Keane would like another adult to help with; you may call me for more information. Steve will be working with 2 teams of 4 students each, competing in a contest whose winner will receive $15,000 for their school. Their task is to create a video on Distracted Driving (think texting and the like), and Steve anticipates 3 work sessions from 2:30-3:30 starting Thursday, February 13th. You need not have video skills to help out; the kids have plenty of that! (Nancy Davis, or 381-1110)

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Maine Humanities Council Brown Bag Lunch

(The following was submitted by RoseMary and Jim McLean.)

John C. Ward
Seamus Heaney
“As a result of an article in the WMSC blog, we wound up going to a brown bag lunch at the Performing Arts Center on Longfellow Square in Portland for a lecture and poetry reading on Seamus Heaney. The presenter, John Ward, a former professor of literature at Kenyon College, was clearly informed about the complex societal background in Ireland from which Heaney's poetry came. This knowledge on his part made his reading the more gripping; so did his flair as a reading artist. Very well done!”

Thanks for the vote of support, RoseMary and Jim! 

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at